World Cup winning netball coach to assist Proteas

MARGATE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 15: The four competing captains: Annie Mukamba of Zambia, Maryka Holtzhausen of South Africa, Caroline Mtukule of Malawi and Peace Proscovia of Uganda during the Diamond Challenge netball tournament press conference at UGU Sports Centre on June 15, 2015 in Margate, South Africa. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)
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Netball World Cup winning Australian coach Norma Plummer has joined the SPAR Proteas as consulting coach ahead of the Diamond Challenge, which begins in Margate on Tuesday.
Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa made the announcement on Monday. She said Plummer would be able to assess the progress made by the national players, and determine whether they were going in the right direction.
Plummer worked with the Proteas in February this year, and will work again with the current coaching panel led by Bennie Saayman.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Proteas again,” said Plummer.
“I retired from coaching fulltime after the World Cup in 2011, but since then I’ve realised that I can serve as a mentor coach. I can come in for a couple of weeks, wherever I’m needed.”
Plummer praised the concept of the Diamond Challenge, in which South Africa will play against Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, the other African countries who will be taking part in the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August.
“Australia and New Zealand play each other all the time, and they also have a very strong league, which means they constantly compete at a very high level. There is a huge pool of talent in Africa, and what they need is exposure to international Netball. They need more competitions like this, but the Diamond Challenge will help them all prepare for the World Cup,” said Plummer.
Saayman said she was very pleased to be able to work with Plummer, who had coached at the very highest level.
“She brings a different approach and we can only benefit from her presence. Our training is going well, and we have had opportunities to study the other three teams. We know what to expect from them and we know what we have to do.”
Mthethwa said she was happy to be able to extend a hand of friendship to South Africa’s African sisters, ahead of the World Cup.
“The Diamond Challenge is a symbol of the unification of African Netball,” she said.
“We welcome our sisters to our country, and we all say no to xenophobia.”

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